Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely...

...type the complete works of William Shakespeare.  So a couple of chaps should be able to throw together some bike frames given enough time with a welder and some tubes. Right?

After 4 days of intense activity at UBI in Ashland, Conor and I have yet to produce a bike frame... but we have a pile of T-joints and triangular things called Grullions. Today things got really exciting, in that we drew plans of our frames-to-be and welded a piece of tube onto a bottom bracket shell, then snapped it off again with a big lever to see if we were actually managing to join things together. So far, so good.

An evolution of T-joints. From left to right: too cold, too hot, and about right (in places)
Can you tell what it is yet?

 Choosing how to build our frames has been pretty strenuous on the emotions. We're going to be putting a lot of effort into these over the next 6 days and it would be nice if they fitted, and perhaps even rode well. Conor and I have converged on both making something in the road-bike style, though Conor's will be very much larger than mine. We both want our iron gates to be durable and something we can ride around town, carry some gear on, and generally live day-to-day bicycling life with. We'll see what we end up with. One interesting thing is that once we started drawing and figuring out how our ideas would fit into place, it became obvious for both of us that our mental image of what we wanted wasn't really in touch with the reality of what we wanted to do with it. Luckily one of our instructors in Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster Bicycles who has many, many years experience of taking people's ideas and turning them into bicycles. Let's hope we can absorb a little of that magic.

Conor's hands, about to conjurer some metal magic
Conor's hands harnessing the force of electricity
Of course there's also our excellent (and unusual) accommodations at the hippie hangout spa just outside of town. What's not to like about a pleasant bike commute to school, living in a Tee-pee, and hanging out on vintage Indian furniture in a giant tent in the evening with transcendental music and spicy tofu flowing freely? Maybe the fact we can also go mountain biking from town when the weather cools down enough and the BMX track that we pass on the way home. It's not a bad life.

Our homework room...